French Friday

Millefeuille with Speculoos Cream and Pine Nuts

Here we have a very traditional French dessert which is the basis of many similar treats.

The Speculoos paste is made a few hours before assembling the dessert.

To get the required and unusual flavour of the Speculoos paste, you must have the right biscuits. These are a caramelised sweet biscuit which have a distinct cinnamon flavour. This is called a Biscoff biscuit and the Brand is Lotus, found in most supermarkets.

Garlic and Herb Potatoes

A simple way of making the humble potato look good, taste good, and adding a wonderful herb smell through your kitchen while it’s baking.

Roasted Fennel and Almond Pesto

Fennel is such a versatile vegetable which can be used as a salad, a warm side dish, or just to have as an appetizer. The French blanch thick slices of fennel, cool them quickly in cold water, then pour over a splash of olive oil, a generous sprinkling of black pepper, and have crusty bread to accompany this simple serving of fennel. The famous fish soups of Southern France usually include fennel leaves.
 
Fennel seeds are often sprinkled onto breads and rolls before baking. In Provence, the stalks of sweet fennel are burnt under grilled fish to impart a delicious fragrance to the flesh.

Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto

When buying Brussels sprouts, choose those which are firm and don’t have withered leaves. Overcooking this vegetable can result in an unpleasant flavour, so if boiling, remove them from the pot when they are just tender.

Apple and Almond Galette

This apple and almond galette looks impressive when care is taken to assemble the layers of sliced apple. This galette is found in all French patisseries, and is sold as small pieces or as larger dinner plate size desserts. Puff pastry is what I have used for this recipe.

Provencal Roasted Artichoke and Fennel

Both artichokes and fennel take on the beautiful flavours of the herbs added to this delightful side dish.

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